Label changes

 

 

June 2015 is the deadline for a new European legislation addressing the labeling of many products such as paints, glues, solvents, detergents and maintenance products.
This page provides you with information you need to continue using your household products safely.

The detergent and maintenance products industry is committed to placing products on the market that are safe for use for people and the environment. As a consumer, you frequently use such products to enjoy clean homes and fabrics. You also have a key role to play in using the products and storing them safely.
Information is being conveyed since a long time on the packaging of products, to attract consumers’ attention on the safety precautions needed, both due to regulatory requirements complemented with voluntary industry activities.

What’s new?

Since early 2015, new labels have been appearing on many household cleaning products, likewise on other products using chemicals. This is because a new European Regulation (“CLP”)started to apply ; it prescribes how household cleaning products are “classified” (with regard to their potential impact on man and/or the environment) and then, “labeled” (in accordance with their classification). In addition, the label design has changed. The legislation sets mandatory label elements (symbols, text, colors) that cannot be adapted or changed by product manufacturers. Companies have a transition period of two years (2015-2017) to move from the old system to the new one

To learn about label changes for household cleaning products, download the attached A.I.S.E. “Read the label” leaflet (including comparison vs old symbols)

The new legislation has more conservative classification criteria regarding safety to eyes, skin and the environment vs the previous regulation

As a consequence, many products which were not classified and labeled in the past could now display labels as well as warning symbols & safety phrases according to their “new” classification.
New information (symbols, design & statements) are being displayed (see table below).

This concretely means that a product whose formulation has not changed will get a different label or be labeled for the first time; it does NOT mean that the product is more (or less) hazardous. As before, it is important to continue using products safely.

What can you see on your new detergents and maintenance products labels?

The table below provides a non-exhaustive list of the CLP pictograms and related sentences that you will see on products. The labeling of each finished product is the responsibility of the company which places it on the market since it depends on its composition. This list below is indicative; it aims at helping you understand what potential information may appear on the labels of detergents and maintenance products. It also helps you identify what precautions you should take.

Pictogram Associated signal word On what products are you likely to see it?
(NB: indicative list)
With what hazard statement is it likely to appear?
(NB: non exhaustive list)
What precautions should you take? (and what possible sentences could accompany the pictogram - precautionary statements) (NB: non exhaustive list)
WARNING

Laundry detergents (powder/liquids)
Hand dish wash liquid detergents
All purpose cleaners Automatic dish wash detergents (liquid/powder)

“Causes serious eye irritation”
And/Or
“Causes skin irritation”

The exclamation mark warning will either be featured in case the product might generate potential irritation either to the skin or to the eyes, or both. As a consequence, the official CLP information below will normally be featured on the label and should be followed:

“If medical advice is needed, have product container or label at hand.” “Keep out of reach of children.”
Pictogram Associated signal word On what products are you likely to see it?
(NB: indicative list)
With what hazard statement is it likely to appear?
(NB: non exhaustive list)
What precautions should you take? (and what possible sentences could accompany the pictogram - precautionary statements) (NB: non exhaustive list)
DANGER

Caustic drain cleaners, acid toilet cleaners, lime scale remover, etc.

“Causes severe burns and eye damage”

This warning will be featured in case the product might be corrosive to the skin (and to eyes inevitably).
Note that products corrosive to the skin have to be sold in containers that have an official Child Resistant Closure) As a consequence, the official CLP information below might be featured on the label and should be followed:

“If medical advice is needed, have product container or label at hand” “Keep out of reach of children”
“Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection” “IF ON SKIN: … (+ statement)” or “IF IN EYES: … (+statement)”“Immediately call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician”
DANGER

Laundry detergents (powder/liquids) Hand dish wash liquid detergents All purpose cleaners.

Possibly, some automatic dish wash detergents (liquid/powder)

“Causes serious eye damage”

This warning will be featured in case the product might be damaging to the eyes.
As a consequence, the official CLP information below might be featured on the label and should be followed:

“If medical advice is needed, have product container or label at hand” “Keep out of reach of children”
“Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection” “IF IN EYES: … (+statement)”
“Immediately call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician”
Pictogram Associated signal word On what products are you likely to see it?
(NB: indicative list)
With what hazard statement is it likely to appear?
(NB: non exhaustive list)
What precautions should you take? (and what possible sentences could accompany the pictogram - precautionary statements) (NB: non exhaustive list)
WARNING

Windscreen wash, Glass cleaners, Certain all-purpose cleaners, Hand sanitizers

“Flammable liquid and vapour”

This warning will be featured in case the product might be flammable.
As a consequence, the official CLP information below might be featured on the label and should be followed:

“Keep out of reach of children”
“Keep away from heat, hot surfaces, sparks, open flames and other ignition sources. No smoking”


Aerosols:
“Do not spray on an open flame or other ignition source”
“Do not pierce or burn, even after use”
“Protect from sunlight. Do not expose to temperatures exceeding 50 °C”
WARNING or DANGER

Aerosols (such as air fresheners, insecticides, polishes, oven cleaners, etc. )

Extremely flammable aerosol“
“Flammable aerosol” “Pressurised container: May burst if heated”

Pictogram Associated signal word On what products are you likely to see it?
(NB: indicative list)
With what hazard statement is it likely to appear?
(NB: non exhaustive list)
What precautions should you take? (and what possible sentences could accompany the pictogram - precautionary statements) (NB: non exhaustive list)

Either no signal word underneath

OR

WARNING

Insecticides Air fresheners Certain rim-blocks Certain laundry detergents and hand dish wash liquid detergents

“Very toxic to aquatic life”
Or
“Harmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects”

This warning may be featured in case the product is highly concentrated or compacted. Note however that the precautionary labeling is usually driven by transport or large volume considerations*. Detergents continue to use quickly biodegradable ingredients and do not present a risk to the environment in their daily use, as the products are removed by sewage treatment and are not directly released to the environment.

(*In case of incident, a large spill during transport or in a storage warehouse would represent a localized transient hazard for waterways, if not managed properly, hence this default classification).

As a consequence, the official CLP information below might be featured on the label and should be followed:

“Keep out of reach of children”
“Avoid release to the environment”.
“Dispose of contents/container to …”

 


NOTES:

  1. Products placed on the market are safe when used as intended.
  2. The symbols and wording are there to draw consumer attention to hazards some products may pose. Provided consumers use the products following the instructions on the label, they are not exposed to those hazards.
  3. Products bearing a Child Resistant Closure should be of particular attention for consumers.
  4. For the exhaustive list of CLP symbols, click here.
  5. The symbols and wording are essentially directed at professional workers handling products in large quantities during transportation and storage. This is why hazardous substances are listed and potential hazards are highlighted.
  6. Products containing ingredients such as enzyme(s), perfume(s), preservative(s), may need to include the following statement: “Contains (sensitising substance X). May produce an allergic reaction.”
In all cases: Read the label & keep detergents and maintenance products away from children!

To use a product safely, consumers should always READ THE LABEL as it contains important information.
Please also pay attention to the following safety information displayed on packs voluntarily by the sector and in particular:

Keep away from children. Keep away from eyes. If product gets into eyes rinse thoroughly with water. Do not ingest. If product is ingested then seek medical advice. People with sensitive or damaged skin should avoid prolonged contact with the product

For the full list of A.I.S.E. Safe Use icons, click here.

See also the specific campaign website to promote the safe use of liquid laundry detergent capsules:
www.keepcapsfromkids.eu

More Info

For all detailed information on the CLP legislation and pictograms, you can:


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